Okay this woman was funny. She took me to a part of the town I had never been allowed into because according to my mom it was "ghetto". In that part of town there was a cafe named Cafe Anywhere. We went in, ordered a couple of lattes and sat on the tables outside. I looked around in amazement; I couldn't believe I was actually there.
"What? You don't like the place?" asked Rowan.
"I love it. I have never been here."
"Really?" She said in astonishment.
"Yea, I was never allowed because supposedly there are many 'thugs' in here but all I see are people who are struggling to survive." I looked down the street filled with vendors.
"That's the way it is when you aren't born into a golden cradle like you."
"I'm sorry but my cradle was made of oak not gold." I laughed. My first laughs of enjoyment, all the rest were usually fake.
"Okay but ask these people and most of them will tell you they didn't even have a cradle."
I sipped from my latte' and was surprised. It was like a whole new world to me where everything tasted better. Rowan saw my face and smiled.
"Okay I take it that you have never tried a "ghetto" latte?"
"Never in my life. It's delicious."
"By the way that has a ton of calories."
"That's why it tastes better; the way I live everything is low in calories or is diet."
"I have a feeling you've been missing out on so many things because of your mother’s obsession over you."
"Not over me...over my beauty."
"Well we are going to have fun today." she smiled.
"That sounds great."
"Well, what type of fun do you have?"
"High class parties are "fun" I guess" I said putting my forefingers in quotations.
"What? You mean the type of parties where you're expected to act like a lady and calmly drink wine from a glass and they play only classical music?"
"I have a feeling you've been to one."
"Yes, those are soooo boring. But don't you ever hang out with your friends?"
"Yea. I do."
"Well... what do you do?"
"Go bowling, play golf, tennis, or go to the gym."
"Well that's no fun."
"It's the most fun I've ever had in my life."
"I'm sorry for the way I'm going to put this but that's just miserable that a growing teen doesn't have fun. So let me rephrase my statement, we are going to have real fun today."
"So tell me Rhiannon, how old are you?"
"Twelve, how old are you?"
"How old do I look?"
"I answered your question, you answer mine now."
"Well right here the way you see me, I just turned twenty."
"So you're basically still a teenager?"
"Age is in the heart not the body." She said with a smile "Of course unless you're over eighty then you can't go partying out and to rock concerts, you would get a heart attack." We both laughed.
"That's true. Rowan, yesterday you mentioned that you have no identity, so you liked to call yourself Rowan. You didn't answer me, why?"
"Well I did tell you Rowan is a type of tree. Well a long time ago I was in a bit of a dilemma and that tree happened to be by miracle in my way. It saved me from dying."
"I can't tell you, or at least not yet."
"Why?" I asked intrigued now.
"Don't worry about it; the right time will come for me to tell you. I just met you. I can't go blabbing off every one of my secrets."
"Why not? I won't tell anyone."
"I know you wouldn't but it's not the time. So now that I answered a couple of your questions you have to answer some of mine."
"Ask." I said.
"Is it just you? Does your mom only have you?"
"No, I have two older sisters. Marcia and Pearl."
"How old are they?"
"Well Marcia is twenty-one and pearl is twenty eight."
"Do you see them often?"
"I see Marcia atleast once a week. But Pearl is another story I see her once every other month. Marcia has two kids Max and Larry and Pearl is pregnant now. I think it’s about time."
"Really? What is she going to name her baby?"
"Well her ultrasounds show that she's going to have a boy, so she's going to name him Adam..."
"And if it’s a girl she's going to name her Eve?" She asked grinning.
"Are you a witch?" I laughed.
"No just a good guesser."
"Yea, she said that she's going to name her baby either one of those because they were both gods’ first children. And she says that is her first child and will always come first to her."
"Do they have husbands?"
"Well, Marcia has a boyfriend who only comes back when he wants to get her pregnant. Other than that he leaves and doesn't really care about her or the child. And Pearl she basically just tied the man to her with her pregnancy, she has been fighting for him since forever."
"Wow, I have never met a family with lives more complicated."
"That's just the way we are, and my mom became pregnant of pearl when she was fifteen. Pearls father was three years older than her and he went to war and never came back...or atleast that's what my mother told me."
"So he's not your father? Then who is?"
"All three of us have different fathers. Marcia's father would beat up my mother so she left him and a few weeks later she found out she was pregnant."
"What about your father?"
"She met my father at a liquor store" I laughed "They went out for a date and she thought she had fallen in love. So they dated, they married and my father loved Pearl and Marcia but he also wanted a child of his own. So they planned me. I was the only planned child." I smiled "My father helped my mother all throughout her pregnancy and when I was born. They both loved me very much and I guess that was the only happy time for my family. When I was four my father’s entire family was burned to death in their house, and unfortunately he went crazy. My mother found it best to put him in an insane asylum. After that she took command of his printing press and we moved down here."
"Is he still alive?"
"I hope so. We never went to visit him again."
"So where were you born?"
"In New York. I think that's enough questions for today or at least compared to the ones you have answered."
"One last one. You said Pearl thought of her baby's name by the meaning?"
"Did your mom think the same way when she named all three of you? Because I notice all three of you have unusual but beautiful names."
"Funny you actually noticed that. Yes she thought the same way. She named Pearl like so because Pearls are beautiful and fancy. She named Marcia like that because of a young woman who she once met, she said that woman was immensly beautiful. And she named me Rhiannon, because Rhiannon was a divine goddess who married a human king so she was a queen, of course my mother didn't think."
"Because Rhiannon was a goddess who was accused of killing her child. Of course it wasn't true but it kind of gives a bad reputation. It makes me sound like I would kill my own children." I smiled thinking about that.
"Your mom is a very...creative woman."
"Yes, my queen." She giggled.
"How about that fun?"
"That's true we have a full day of fun and we won't waste it here." We raced to the car giggling and squealing all the way.
"So, where are we going?" I asked as we drove by several shops.
"Well what do you want to do?"
"Well I've never hiked. Can we do that?"
"Of course your majesty."
I smiled I was so thrilled to finally go hiking.
"But first we have to make a stop."
After about ten minutes of me begging her we stopped by a small store called "Hiking Surplus"
"Come on." she said turning off the car. I got out and we walked into the store. She got a pair of shorts a back pack, four water flasks. She went to a food aisle and got loaded with food.
"Girl, aren't you going to get something?"
"What do I get?'
"Get some shorts you're really going to need them, oh and on the way get a tick and mosquito repellant."
"Nevermind" she laughed "just get yourself some shorts."
"OK." I took off to the clothes racks and chose out some shorts the same color as my cargo pants. There were a couple of men also looking in the racks and looking at me. I felt unbearably uncomfortable and I went looking for Rowan. They didn't follow me they just stared at each other confused.
"I got everything Rhiannon, let's go." She paid for everything and we got into the car.
"Whoa! What are you doing?" I asked as she slipped off her pants.
"Changing, what does it look like?"
"Of course. You should change into your shorts too." She suggested zipping up her shorts.
"I'll do it while you drive."
"As you wish." She turned on the car and we drove away. I started seeing many trees and then I decided to put my shorts on.
"Rhiannon, get that orange bottle and spray it on your arms and legs."
"What is it for?" I asked.
"Where were going there's a lot of mosquitos?"
"Rhiannon, were going hiking not ball room dancing."
"So, is that a yes or a no?"
Several minutes later she parked on the side of the road and she got off. I became frightened remembering what had happened yesterday. It now seemed years ago because this woman has kept my mind occupied.
"So are you getting off or staying in there?"
"Aren't you putting on mosquito repellent?"
"I don't need it." She answered. I wasn't going to ask any more questions, this woman already had me on the edge of my seat with curiosity and I was unwilling to gain more curiosity.
"Where are we going?" I asked softly.
"You said you wanted hiking and were hiking."
"This is what hiking is?"
"If you mean walking in the middle of the forest to see the beautiful scenery, yes that's what hiking is. Trust me I won't hurt you."
"Ok." I said getting off the car.
"We'll be back to your house before it gets dark." I nodded and walked around the car and towards her. She got the back pack filled with food and water.
"Ready?" She asked.
"Very." We walked into the woods and kept walking for hours with fifteen minute rests. The scenery was better than I imagined.
"Were here." She said. All I saw was trees and a river.
"Were going to stay beside a river?"
"Oh Rhiannon," she said putting the back pack down "come with me." She grabbed my hand and dragged me a bit more down hill then there was a sudden clearing. It was a beautiful water fall with many colorful leaves swimming through it.
"Is this the same river that goes through my back yard?"
"It goes through many things, so it most likely is."
"This is amazing."
"You know what's the best thing?"
"At this time of year the current isn't all that bad."
"Are you suggesting me get in the water with a bunch of other fish?"
"The fish know better, they usually stay up stream"
"So this area is basically fish free?"
"Theres only one problem Rowan."
"You don't have a bathing suit. Don't worry about that, I secretly got you one back at the store."
"That's not weird at all, that you know my size." I smiled. She laughed.
"Come let's go get our bathing suits." We got back to where she had left the back pack, unzipped it and threw a white bathing suit at me.
"Where do I put it on?"
"There's a bathroom behind that tree Rhiannon."
"Really?" She laughed at me.
"No, you get behind a tree and change."
"I don't know if I like this very much."
"Just do it Rhiannon, you won't regret it."
I put it on and saw that it looked like a two peice from the back but was connected in the front by two triangle that touched near my belly button.
"You know how to swim right?"
"I have a six feet deep pool all to my self, what do you think?"
"Good because I don't have time to teach you how to swim."
"I think I'm a pretty good swimmer." I said coming out from behind the tree. She wore a black two peice swim suit.
"Yea, we'lll see about that." She said hanging the backpack on a branch.
"What's that for?"
"For bear's to not eat our meal."
"You're kidding right?"
She simply said "No."
"Theres bears around here?" I started freaking out.
"Rhiannon chill out, there might not actually be a bear around her but its just in case. Like they say 'better safe than sorry' right?"
"So what are we waiting for?" She asked "let's go take a dip."
"O...k..." we went back to the waterfall and she jumped into the water.
"She popped back up to the surface she said "Come on in girl, the water the water isn't going to kill you." I dipped my toe in and shivered.
"The water's cold."
"You'll get used to it as soon as you feel it all over you." I nodded and took a dive into the water. Rowan was right. I loved the feel of the smooth water all over me and I decided to stay underwater until I felt completely out of breath. As soon as I broke into the surface I saw Rowan staring at me smiling.
"I told you, you would like it."
"Yea it's great" I switched myself on the water to lay on my back staring up at the cloudy sky. I got closer to the edge of the waterfall and realized it was more shallow to the point that the water reached up to my knees. Rowan silently stood beside me looking at everything. There were many trees with many colors and in the distance I saw hills. The river ran between those hills and a couple of miles away from those hills was my house hidden between countless amount of trees.
"I told you, you would love it. But unfortunately we've lost track of time and it's time to go."
"Yes, we can come back another day. But you can't do this again, you can't skip school" I agreed and we went back to where the backpack was, we ate a meal, changed and headed down. I was real attentive on the way back remembering certain aspects around me to remember the way to get up there. It started raining halfway towards the car so we had to pick up the pace giving me less time to look around. We got to the car cracking up because we were both soaked. I changed back into my cargo pants and noticed that my white shoes were now a mess stained with mud. She drove me back home and when I asked what time it was she said "Five." Shit my mom was probably home by now. I asked her to stay there until I confirmed whether my mom was home or not. I jogged up the steps and slowly twisted the handle to see if it was locked or not. It wasn't so I quickly waved my hand for her to go before I opened the door. She left and I went into my house.
"Rhiannon?" I heard my mom from the kitchen.
"It's me" I said loud enough for her to hear me. Her and Martha one of the three house maids rushed to the living room.
"Look at your self Rhiannon! Martha, go get her some dry clothes." Martha at her fifty years of age still had enough energy to be running up and down the stairs.
"Don't move off the mat, you're going to ruin my white carpet." I ignored her and walked towards the kitchen to get some apple sauce.
"RHIANNON!" She yelled at the top of her lungs extremely angry. That was the angriest I have ever seen. Martha came running down the stairs with a towel and dry clothes. I took a look back, smiled and kept walking on my mother's perfect white carpet with mud stained shoes leaving shoe marks everywhere I stepped. I also left trail marks on her perfect black and white checkered linoleum.
"RHIANNON ISADORA LEFEBVRE! WHAT IN HELL ARE YOU TRYING TO TURN MY HOUSE INTO? A PIGSTY? GO INTO THE PANTRY AND GET OUT OF THOSE DIRTY CLOTHES NOW!" She threw the clothes and the towel at me and I started making my way into the pantry when she screamed again. "GET THOSE SHOES OFF NOW!" I slipped them off in a lazy manner and walked slowly to the pantry trying to get as much water from my wet clothes on to the floor as I could, but she noticed what I was trying to do and she pushed me into the pantry. My life wasn't fun at all but I figured I'd be getting a lot of fun from taunting my mother like this, atleast for a while.